Another year, another variation of the costume.
AnimeBoston came early this year. March 21-23.
Brenna came to town again for the con. Friday, the first day of the con was her 23rd birthday. Naturally, we celebrated, but one thing at a time. I have posted a not so brief summary of the week/weekend after the jump, but if you are only interested in seeing the pictures, you can check out the gallery here.
Her flight was fairly late on Wednesday, so we did not get to do much that night. We ended up ordering out and watching Accepted.
Thursday we had the entire day to ourselves so we packed up and headed to Harvard Sq. I got a sweet parking spot, but since it was still a regular weekday we needed to mind the parking meter. The max time on the meter was sadly an hour. We headed into the Garage, which is basically a small multi-level mall. After looking around Hootenany briefly and spending nearly the entire hour in Newbury Comics looking at toys, comics, and music, we went back and refilled the meter. Then back to the Garage to check out Tokyo Kid. The store was in disarray because they were preparing for AnimeBoston, but we still managed to spend a little bit of time in there before we went to Crazy Dough’s and got some pizza. I had a chicken parm pizza slice. It was pretty good. I think the most outlandish pizza slice I’ve gotten there was a broccolli, shrimp alfredo slice. It was actually pretty good. After pizza, we got some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s and headed back to the car. Upon our return, we got out of costume and headed over to Best Buy to pick up Super Smash Brothers Brawl for our gathering the next night. We basically just hung out at the house for most of the rest of the night and played Brawl. And by that I mean we hung out and Brenna completely abused me all night in Smash Brothers Brawl.
Friday morning was spent getting our costumes on and getting to the convention. We got there around 11:45ish. We headed straight to the pre-registration line, which was actually in a function hall all on its own. That was a little depressing. Especially three and a half hours later when we got to the end of the line in the hall only to realize it continued into the hallway into another room with another large line. An hour of despair and hunger later, we finally got our registration packets and were ready to go. Unfortunately we were already a man down. Brendan and Thanh were about an hour ahead of us in line. After standing in line for four hours and taking a quick tour of the dealer room and the artists alley, Thanh left the convention for the weekend before Brenna and I even got out of the preregistration line. He probably spent about 20 minutes at the convention, even though he pre-registered for the entire weekend. I’m still mystified by that.
Now that we had all been registered, our small group of three headed straight for the artists’ alley.The artists alley is essentially a funtion hall full of aspiring artists trying to make a name for themselves and sell some artwork at the same time. Over the past couple of years, it has quickly become my preferred area of interest in wandering about the convention. It used to be the dealer room, but the dealer room changes little from year to year. Mostly the same stores have tables selling the same trinkets. Very little changes from year to year. We were able to secure half of a table through Brenna’s hardwork and pestering on the AnimeBoston message board. We lost out on a full table because the Alley sold out in roughly 24 seconds when the tables went available for registration online. In retrospect, I think the half table worked out best for us since we used no more and no less than the space we had. Maybe something to keep in mind for next time. We were only there for maybe 2-3 hours before it was already time to leave and get home. Stupid registration line. It wasted almost the entire day.
I had invited people that Brenna had previously met to the house around 7ish to hang out for her birthday. Dan came over early and hung out with the three of us. We played Rock Band for hours. During that time Peggy and Joaquin came over as well, which was really great because I wasn’t sure if they were coming and I hadn’t seen them in quite a while. Later on, Duke, Toby and their girlfriends came back from Dinner and joined in as well. We had a full band going most of the night with people rotating on instruments and microphone. I got some fun footage. Duke’s brother, Chris came over at my invitation and rocked out on the drums. He is a drummer and showed us what he could do on Rock Band’s drums on expert. It was really impressive. I’ll probably post some of the footage I took in a future post. Once people started going to bed, we quieted down and started playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I didn’t win at all, but it was a lot of fun and I’m getting slightly better with the pokemon trainer. Squirtle is still pretty terrible on most levels though. Eventually everyone headed home and Brenna and I went to bed. Tomorrow was going to be another long day.
Saturday came very much like Friday had. We got up and put our costumes on and Duke was kind enough to give us a ride to the convention center. Thankfully, we did not have to wait in a line. We went straight up to the Artists Alley and setup shop. Paul showed up not long after. He apparently had been in line since 8am and had only just gotten out. He was dressed up as Time Jump Shino. It looked really good.
He and Dan were going to meet up and go to the live gaming room and play in the 2 on 2 Magic Tournament. Dan showed up shortly thereafter and they headed down. We took turns rotating who would sit at the table and would wander. Brendan and I took first wandering duty. We went to the dealer room to check out what was there. I found the new Revoltech Starscream and Revoltech Rodimus, which was cool, but I paid a little more than I would have liked. I saw a WildCATs DVD at the FUNimation booth in the ten dollar bin. I passed, but it was cool nonetheless. I came back to the Artists Alley and roamed about in there for a while. I immediately bought a shirt that said “I’m famous on the internet.” I couldn’t help myself. Over the course of the day,
Brenna did very well for herself, actually selling out of one of her prints and getting a lot of business cards picked up by passersby. I told her that she now has a better feel for what sold well and can now concentrate further on those pieces, instead of the ones which garnered less attention. She agreed and seemed much more confident about her work after seeing the one print sell out and still people coming back asking if she had anymore.
Paul and Dan came back later on. Apparently the 2 on 2 tournament they wanted to play in did not start until 7pm and Paul had to be getting home by then to get back to his kids. Instead, they apparently entered a singles tournament and played in that for a while. I walked around with both them in the Artists Alley and showed them a few things that had caught my eye including a set of bookmarks that connected to make a picture of Sonic the Hedgehog characters dressed as Naruto characters. These are two series that Brenna is obsessed with, so I picked up all three bookmarks for her.
Christy was supposed to meet up with us, but never showed. I found out later that she was actually there, but her phone had died on the way and was unable to call me. Unfortunately she never made her way into the Artists Alley, otherwise she would have found Brenna, Brendan and I all at the table wondering where she was.
We left the con around 8pm and got a ride back with Davidson. We came back and helped clean, while Duke prepared various types of meats to be cooked for the next day. We were playing host to the DiBenedetto Family Easter. I, then ate a leftover pizza for my dinner, while Brenna ate a piece of chocolate cake for hers. I cannot really recall what happened the rest of the evening, but I am pretty sure Rock Band was involved.
Sunday was a very early day. Since the convention closed at 3 or 4. We needed to be there early to make sure we made the most of the shortened day. I dressed up as Xorn (my last halloween costume) and Brenna wore her civvies. I did a last walk-through of the dealer room. I went back to the FUNimation booth and bought the WildCATS dvd I had seen on Friday because I was still thinking about it and it was a very good deal. It was the full series. Outside of that, I did not find much that I wanted. Brenna was able to sell a few of her other prints on the final day, which made her rather gleeful. I sat in on the charity auction to try and bid on first pick of the artists alley for next year. Little did I realize so many other artists had been jaded in the immediate sellout of the alley. While I was bidding, the price escalated quickly out of our range. When it hit 250, there was a short silence and it almost ended, but I bid 251 just to be a jerk because it was clear this girl would not be outbid. Naturally she bid again, but someone went higher and it continued to escalate further. The final damage cost her 320 dollars for her pick of the first table for next year’s artists alley. Thats not far off from what a dealer’s table costs in the dealer room. I left in frustration and went back to our table and took a nap on the floor behind it. I was starting to get a headache from wearing the Xorn helmet.
The day passed by very quickly. It was not long before we were wrapping things up and heading back home. Duke’s family was over for Easter so we quickly went upstairs and changed. I took another nap to try and get rid of the headache. Brenna read another of my graphic novels. After a while, Duke’s family left because they were stuffed, but he still had more stuff cooking so we went down and helped out, of course. Davidson, Antonia, Duke, Danielle, Brenna and I all sat down and ate and talked for a while. Then we called it a night.
Very early the next day (6am!) I dropped Brenna off at the airport and reentered the mundane working world from my relaxing vacation. I wish vacations were longer.